Incorporating Apples into Fall Cloverbud Activities

October is a perfect time to visit a local apple orchard. Last year, I took my Cloverbud to an orchard and picked at least 9 different varieties of apples. Some were good for eating. Some were good for baking. Some were good for freezing. We enjoyed trying new recipes as well as seeing the variety of apples that grow here in Ohio. Did you and your Cloverbuds know that Ohio is one of the top apple producing states in the United States?

A few fun and easy activities for Cloverbuds include

  • Tasting a variety of apples- Allow Cloverbuds to have red, green, yellow apples. Make a graph of their favorite ones to eat fresh. What words would they use to describe the taste of the apples they tried? (sour, crunchy, shiny, juicy, cold, sweet, red, bitter)
  • Try a few new recipes. Encourage the Cloverbuds, with your help, to use an apple corer or make a fruit dip to eat with their apples.
  • Read a book all about apples. There are so many wonderful books about fall. Read the book outside while the leaves are falling. A good book to start with would be “Amelia Bedelia’s First Apple Pie”.
  • Make an easy snack for a club meeting.

An easy snack for a Cloverbud club meeting would be apple pie in a cup. It is easy to set up an assembly line and allow each child to visit each station. Don’t forget to wash those hands before you start.

Apple Pie in a Cup

Ingredients needed:

  • Graham crackers
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Can of apple pie filling
  • Whipped cream
  • Cups
  • Plastic Bag
  • Spoon
  • Napkins
  1. Give each Cloverbud a plastic bag, a cup, and 2 graham crackers. Have them break apart the graham crackers and put them in the baggie. They should crush the graham crackers into small pieces. Then they will put a layer of crushed graham crackers at the bottom of their cup for their crust.
  2. You can warm up the apple pie filling in the microwave but not required. Ask each Cloverbud to put 2-3 scoops into their cup on top of the graham crackers.
  3. Put some whipped cream on top of the apple mixture. Sprinkle a little cinnamon or cinnamon sugar on top.
  4. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from

Reviewing Your 4-H Cloverbud Programming

Portrait Of Excited Elementary School Pupils On Playing Field At Break Time

As 4-H Cloverbud volunteers and educators, we are always focused on planning for the next big event. Many times, we don’t take time to review our programs. The Ohio 4-H Clovebud program several resources that help with program delivery, curriculum, goals, and tools to help with evaluation. As your 4-H season comes to an end for the year, build in time to take a closer look at your Cloverbud program. Spend time with other club volunteers discussing their activities and events. Sometimes we get so busy throughout the season, we plan activities for the “wow” factor instead of selecting the best hands-on educational activities for our Cloverbud members. Not that we can’t bring in fun age-appropriate activities, but we need to provide and teach the Ohio 4-H Cloverbud program curriculum to our Cloverbud 4-H members.

So where do you start? As you reflect on your 4-H club season, think about each one of your meetings and activities. The Cloverbud program should explore areas of healthy lifestyle, earth/environment, citizenship, plants and animals, consumerism and family science, science and technology, personal development, and community expressive arts. The primary goal of the Cloverbud program is to promote children’s healthy development—mentally, physically, socially, and emotionally. The program should be fun and positive, leader-directed, activity-based, noncompetitive, success-oriented, and group-centered for youth aged 5 and in kindergarten until they reach age 8 and in the third grade. Did the programs that you provided follow the goals of the Ohio 4-H program and did your programming create an environment for Cloverbud members to develop self-understanding (self-esteem), social interaction skills (getting along with others), decision-making skills, learning skills (learning how to learn), and mastering physical skills?

Here are a few Ohio 4-H Cloverbud Guidelines to help make sure you are on track. One of the best ways to start evaluating the program is asking yourself, where did you get your club resources? Often volunteers search online for activities instead of using Ohio 4-H resources. The Ohio 4-H program has done the hard part for you. Visit for information on the 4-H Cloverbud Volunteer Guidebook, The Big Book of 4-H Cloverbud Activities, My 4-H Cloverbud Year, activities, kits, and extra materials used to support Cloverbud programming. Check with your county Ohio State University Extension Office to see if there are free resources, books, or kits for Cloverbud volunteers. 4-H Volunteers must use the Ohio 4-H Cloverbud curriculum when working with Cloverbud members. To use any lesson other than the Cloverbud curriculum, you must submit a written lesson plan for approval to your county 4-H professional.

Did you have a minimum of two youth ages 5-8 and one officially trained Cloverbud volunteer? This can be tricky especially with 4-H clubs with only a few Cloverbud age members. Sometimes it’s hard to have at least two Cloverbuds, so effective communication and planning can help get full participation. There must be a ratio of at least one 4-H volunteer for each six Cloverbud youth.

How often did you meet? Cloverbuds meet a minimum of six times throughout the operating year. The operating year will begin October 1 and end September 31. Offering more than six meetings will help your busy members meet the state requirement.

A great resource is the 4-H Cloverbud Program Foundations available online, This tool explains the 10 foundations of the Cloverbud program. Another awesome resource is the Ohio 4-H Cloverbud Program table shown below. This reference will help you be sure each one of your activities is best matched for Cloverbud-age members. This helps separate project members versus Cloverbud members, as well as explain criteria for fair, camp, and animal activities.


Utilizing these helpful guidelines and tools when reviewing your 4-H Cloverbud programming will help ensure that your members are receiving curriculum designed just for them. The Ohio 4-H program has developed curriculum, tools, and resources to help you enjoy your role as an Ohio 4-H Coverbud volunteer. For more information contact your county Ohio State University Extension Office or visit